Reviewing expectations

Things happen unexpectedly sometimes and even the solid plans need room for flexibility. Six months ago when JahDoily Knits launched I expected to publish new designs every three to six weeks. Looking over my portfolio one may think that those plans have been abandoned but that is far from the truth. What has happened is I encountered unexpected events. Designs that took longer to create or write than a tight schedule allowed for, impromptu travel, family obligations, and sudden rushes of design ideas. Yes, a concentration of new ideas can set back progress. While my published portfolio may look slight, lots has been happening with JahDoily Knits.

As I review the first six months of JahDK I am learning to allow for the unexpected. Starting out I set too many goals too quickly. Some designs need time to percolate while others come swiftly. Trying to fit each into a tidy timeline stifles and takes the joy out of the process. Looking forward to the next six months I strive to give each design the time and space it needs. When I’m faced with a flood of ideas my schedule shall be set aside. Those ideas will be allowed to bloom or wilt in an organic manner – some ideas are better than others but they all need to get out.

Stack of tuques-Sept 20 2013 (1)

For the last two weeks I’ve been determined to design a cowl to accompany a hat designed in September. So many ideas have emerged, but not of them the companion I was looking for. Each idea felt like a failure – That’s not the project I’m looking for. What I’d been neglecting to acknowledge is that each of those ideas is the beginning of a new design. It has been an incredibly fertile few weeks but there is little to show for it. The ideas are rushing so quickly they can’t be knit before the next comes. Instead of allowing the designs to evolve organically I have been fixated on finished items.

KattiklooFiberStudio_knitCity colourway-DK-Merino Diamonds in the rough-blocking detail
No, I don’t have a pile of finished projects to show but what I have is so much more important. Gathering these ideas and setting them aside will give me a “stash” of pattern ideas to pull from. Some are full first drafts, written and charted patterns, others are swatches of stitch patterns and textures with notes pined to them, still others are scratches in notes books that hopefully I can decipher. As each idea emerges I file it away and let the next take form. When the ideas begin to wane I will dig into those files and begin knitting projects.

Going forward I will remind myself that creativity comes in waves and one must learn to work with the natural swells. A storm, such as this, may stall publication deadlines but there will be calmer days where editing and knitting samples will be a welcome distraction from the lack of fresh ideas.

07_Rosemarie's-Garden-Shawl_k
There was on my schedule a pattern to coincide with JahDK’s half anniversary but as it sits waiting to be graded and test knit, I give you this instead, 50% off my first design, Rosmarie’s Garden Shawl. The sale begins today, Friday November 22, 2013 and runs until midnight pacific standard time November 27th and is redeemable through my Ravelry shop – from the pattern page, click “add to cart” and the discount will show up.

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